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Computers get better at the Game of Go (aka Wei-Chi and Baduk)

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[Playing Go on a] 19×19 grid, the black and white Go stones can end a game in 10 to the power of 171 possible ways — about 10 to the power of 81 times more configurations than there are elementary particles in the known universe!!!

Faced with such extraordinary complexity, our [human] brains somehow find a path, navigating the possibilities using mechanisms only dimly understood by science. Both of the programs that have recently defeated humans used variations on mathematical techniques originally developed by Manhattan Project physicists to coax order from pure randomness.

Called the Monte Carlo method, it has driven computer programs to defeat ranking human players six times in the last year. That’s a far cry from chess, the previous benchmark of human cognitive prowess, in which Deep Blue played Garry Kasparov to a panicked defeat in 1997, and Deep Fritz trounced Vladimir Kramnik in 2006. [Using a] golf analogy, computer Go programs beat the equivalents of Chris Couch rather than Tiger Woods, and had a multi-stroke handicap. But even six victories was inconceivable not too long ago, and programmers say it won’t be long before computer domination [of humans] is complete...

The above and more can be found here:
Humans No Match for Go Bot Overlords
By Brandon Keim on March 10, 2009
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/03/gobrain/